Living Colour

Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour

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Eleven years after Living Colour released its post-breakup compilation Pride and three years after their reunion album CollideĆøscope, Epic/Legacy released the career-spanning collection Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour. Since Living Colour had a career that burned like a supernova -- bright and intense at its beginning in 1988, but by 1993, they had imploded -- they're an ideal band for a compilation, and Everything Is Possible is indeed an excellent history of the band, drawing heavily from 1988's Vivid and its 1990 follow-up, Time's Up, while treating 1993's Stain as a footnote and sampling from the reunion record. As such, this is a lively portrait of the band at its peak, containing nearly all of the MTV and album rock radio hits (Stain's "Leave It Alone" is missing, but it's not noticeable), plus a healthy representation of the best album tracks. That almost all of these are culled from Vivid (over half the album is here) and Time's Up (just under half the album, if the "Soulpower Hip Hop Remix" of "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" is counted) is, again, no surprise: not only did the band turned dank and gloomy for Stain, but their neon-colored fiercely multi-cultural hard rock was in full force for those two albums. Truth be told, it even showed signs of exhausting itself on Time's Up, something that Everything Is Possible obscures even if it can't completely hide it: by that point, the politics, genre-hopping, celebrity cameos, and PC social consciousness were dampening the freshness of Vivid, which itself suffered from being overly earnest and as self-consciously complicated as the stop-start riff to their biggest hit, "Cult of Personality." Nevertheless, over the course of those two albums Living Colour produced some bright, ambitious hard rock that crystallized a lot of the ideas and trends of the late '80s and early '90s, and nowhere is that better heard than on this compilation, which captures a band that was and remains as interesting to theorize about as it is to listen to.

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